03/03/2024 10:00 PM

By Nur Athirah Mohd Shaharuddin & Engku Shariful Azni Engku Ab Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 (Bernama) -- Freelancer Toh Wei Hang, 26, has emerged as the winner of the Malaysia International Furniture Fair (MIFF) Furniture Design Competition (FDC), scooping the RM5,000 top prize for his “Mu-shi (woodstone in Chinese) Chair.”

Coming in second for the RM3,000 prize was Siti Mehran Yasmine of the University of Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) for the “Kumbu Lounge Chair”, while the third prize of RM2,000 was bagged by Muhammad Shafitri Aiman of UITM Melaka Campus Alor Gajah for his “Ura Chair”, a lounge piece with storage space.

Toh said his Mu-shi chair is a combination of wood and stone elements derived from the woods and rocks he saw when he visited  Sungai Congkak in Hulu Langat, Selangor recently.

"This award is a great platform to promote young talents to the international stage, especially freelance designers like me who don't have much chance to expose our artwork to the world. So winning this award is a great experience to promote myself and my designs," he told Bernama.

UMK’s Siti Mehran said her “Kumbu Lounge Chair” was inspired by Malaysia’s jungle and the “kekipas” tree, integrated with traditional Malay craft as well as traditional fabric motif called Pua Kumbu. 

Also serving as her final year project, she said the design was meant to promote the local cultural identity at the international level. "I feel glad and honoured for this recognition. I owed my mentor a lot and everyone that helped me to finish this project along the way," she added.

For this year, MIFF FDC’s challenge was to reimagine the most essential piece of furniture under the theme “Chair-Volution” in celebration of innovation and design, marking MIFF’s 30th anniversary.

“Taking place on the third day of the MIFF, the awards comprised the MIFF FDC and two exhibitor prizes - Best Presentation Award for best booth and Furniture Excellence Award for outstanding product,” MIFF said in a statement today.

According to the MIFF, a Special Mention Award was done for the first time this year.

“The award went to a whimsical upholstered sofa ‘Mifor’ inspired by the MIFF logo and designed by Ong Chia Yong from Southern University College.

“Siti Nurul Diana Sukri of the University of Malaysia Kelantan was named the Best Mentor with a RM2,000 prize while UiTM Melaka Campus Alor Gajah was announced the Best Institution,” it said.

Chief judge Eric Leong, who headed the seven-member jury, said “we were very surprised at the designs which were very contemporary and truly a celebration of creativity.”

“We want to encourage young designers to give their ideas about this industry. With that, we organised this competition," he told Bernama.

The MIFF FDC received a strong response with 203 entries from over 30 design institutions and private design firms, with 20 being picked by the judges for the final round and their works are exhibited at MIFF.

On the Best Presentation Award, MIFF said Johann & Joann Concept bagged the award for their most creative and eye-catching booth and display; in second place was Florence Bed while Luxury Sleep Products won third place.

For the Furniture Excellence Award for household furniture, the Platinum Award was bagged by Infab Classics Industries, the Gold Award recipient was Sinhuiwan Furniture and the Silver Award went to TMH Furniture Industries Sdn Bhd.

For the office furniture category, Oasis Furniture Industries was the winner of the Platinum Award while the Gold Award went to Zenith Projects Technology and the Silver Award to Foshan Yizhong Furniture.


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